How Not to Get Lost Training in a Big Box Gym

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How Not to Get Lost Training in a Big Box Gym
Question: I workout in a “big box gym” and have found myself overwhelmed by so many different pieces of equipment and training opinions. My progress has stalled from the distractions and I need a way to get focused. What can I change to get back on track?

Answer: The benefits of larger training/fitness centers include the variety of equipment and sometimes being in a motivating atmosphere with the guys you workout around. Having them around isn’t a necessity but it does help on days you’re less driven. Generally though, you should be able to create a training atmosphere. That’s internal motivation: the ability to push yourself from within to attain a higher goal or standard. You hold yourself accountable to show up to train, not workout, there is a difference, but to attempt during each session to challenge your limits. So it is a mental decision requiring discipline.

  • By using your own music and the earphones to isolate yourself you can block out many of the distracting conversations.
  • Have a plan before you get to the gym and mentally rehearse it. By mapping out you know where you’re heading next and can make adjustments when others are using equipment you may need.
  • Focus on each rep, making it excellent. Then your sets are excellent and your training is excellent.
  • Our clients and members hear repeatedly “you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable ” and “is this a chore or a challenge?” Not everyone around you will share or buy into that attitude. Persevere.

Some of the commercials and social media posts on training, especially the recent ones leading to the Olympics are amazing and inspirational. The kids here talk about them and use them for motivation. Then as they get into the training, they realize the core message of the commercial is work. Most aren’t that motivated to dig deeply inside themselves to find that next gear. Everyone wants to excel in the spotlight but too many overlook the work necessary that occurs in the shadows in order to shine in the light.

In large facilities it is easy to be overwhelmed by so many training choices and people. This requires you to make a primary training routine that works for you. Arnold used a simple core group of exercises which he would vary by changing the reps or angles. Create that workout, master it, and interject the different types of equipment to keep challenging yourself and vary your routine.

If you’re doing cardio, isolate yourself with music and train by the number of songs instead of the clock. If your fitness center has tv’s all around, make it a game not to glance at them because if you do, you’re going to get distracted and sucked in. Every time you check out the tube, do an extra set or an extra five reps. It takes discipline to be exceptional and not only a will to win but a desire to train. Oddly enough, you may discover that the training is it’s own reward.

That being said,
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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